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Gattaca More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Thought Provoking, Engrossing, And Fascinating Little Flick!

Author: callanvass
14 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

this is a fascinating, and engrossing little flick, that i throughly enjoyed!. The Performances are almost Oscar worthy in my opinion, and the it's always engrossing,and character driven, however it was a bit confusing at times, and i thought it ended a little abruptly, however i was engrossed all the way, and Ethan Hawke, and Uma Thurman are absolutely fantastic in this!. I loved the designs, and the film feels very polished, and stylish, plus i loved the scenes between Vincent and his brother Anton they were great. This is a great fascinating little flick, that i throughly enjoyed, and i can see why it's so popular, i highly suggest you see this, it's worth it. The Direction is great. Andrew Niccol does a great job here, with great, camera work, awesome designs, keeping the viewer thinking, and it had a polished and stylish feel it to it as well, plus he kept the film at an engrossing pace!. The Acting is almost Oscar Worthy!. Ethan Hawke, gives an almost Oscar Worthy performance here, he is extremely likable, had awesome chemistry with Uma Thurman, and Jude Law, is amazing in the acting department, and was just interesting all the time!. Jude Law is excellent here, he is a great actor, and i can see why the people rave about him!. Uma Thurman is STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS, and is fantastic here, she had awesome chemistry with Ethan, was interesting to watch, and her character, was nice and mysterious, i really like her. Loren Dean is good as Vincent's brother loved the swimming scenes. Overall this is a must see! **** out of 5

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

One of the greatest sci-fis

Author: jankat_666 from Turkey
28 January 2005

I think this is one of the most fantastic science-fiction film ever made.It is so wonderful because it is not trying to draw our attention with its special effects(it has no special effects).

The script is just what I wanted.The isolation of the "not too far future"...In Gattaca world there are some "perfect human beings" and another kind which is naturally born.And this second kind is not tolerated.The first kind

even don't want to shake hands with the second kind. You see what I mean?It is just fantastic.The cast is perfect,too.Especially,Ethan Hawk and Jude Law as a team are fantastic.

SO I really think you should watch it(****/out of four).

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

One of the 90s' best

Author: nablaquadro from Ravenna, Italy
20 December 2006

Gattaca arranges perfectly between the best movie of the 90s, probably at the top, for his multiple nature, equidistant from sci-fiction to social drama. The apocalyptic future is here portrayed not with aliens' invasions or mechanical creatures. Instead, with a "rational" decadence where Valid and Invalid people (translation: perfect and not perfect people) are classified to leave the planet towards a new, better world. The insane project to classify a society through rules of perfection was cherished from the worst dictators in history but here, with the help of science, playing to be God seem to have a legal appearance.

The denunciation purpose is clear, but the experience gifted by Gattaca goes beyond. The minimalistic art direction recall extraordinarily the idea of a "near" future, so credible to seem real.

A single paragraph deserves the soundtrack. Composed by the great Michael Nyman, its oneiric sounds underline every meaningful scene of the movie. The theme, the largo, the Schubert's ballad, and then again the largo with the piano addition, then the theme again. Gorgeous, ardent, a rare experience.

All the actors fit perfectly their role: Uma Thurman is trapped in an algid beauty, but remains irresistible. Jude Law is very good, like his future roles have proved. Ethan Hawke fits for his role remaining though a little rigid, lost, in front of the camera, lucky that the role of Vincent it's a bit like that. Besides of other little roles, the whole movie is held up by these 3 actors and by their dialogues. An ambitious project, written and directed by Andrew Niccol (whom unfortunately disappointed me for the mediocre S1m0ne and Lord of War), that accomplishes all his targets.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Not so much science fiction as human drama and prejudice in a science fiction setting

Author: grandfunkfan from United States
30 December 2005

Gattaca is not so much science fiction as human drama and prejudice in a science fiction setting.

I had never heard of Gattaca until it was recommended to me by NetFlix. Gattaca is a great movie. Apparently it was not a box office success, but I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes drama and speculative fiction. Some other comments compare it to Blade Runner or 1984. Gattaca is thought provoking and stimulating without being over-blown with special effects and the idea that mankind is doomed to destroy itself.

I like the soundtrack; it is not a collection of pop songs or attempted futuristic designer songs, it just fits.

I won't recommend, as some comments do, to watch the movie several times to pick out gaffes. Just watch it once and enjoy it.

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10 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Stylish Sci-fi thriller whose true horror seems to be lost on most people

Author: wadeboi from Hollywood, CA
18 May 2006

I was intrigued by the cult popularity of this film and the fact that so many people seem to think this is one of the best films ever made. Frankly, I struggled to sit through the whole thing and I had to fast-forward through the ponderous stair-climbing scene.

"Gattaca" is reminiscent of 60s sci-fi horror films with its sterile atmosphere and melancholy characters. It's hard to relate to people with absolutely no joy in their lives. Ironically, in watching the first act of the film a second time, I thought the central character seemed happier in his life as an "in-valid."

Our hero's quest seems a bit far-fetched for the price he has to pay and, for the audience, the outcome seems like a foregone conclusion; lacking the impact of a twist ending in comparable films like the original "Plant of the Apes" or even "Soylent Green."

The subtext of sci-fi horror elements, such as invasive background checks and medical testing by employers as well as discrimination based on genetic attributes don't seem all that horrific because, sadly, they have been widely accepted business practices for some time.

I'm amazed to see so many reviewers comment on the "revelation" that in the future employers will discriminate on genetic perfection rather than traditional prejudices such as race, sex, etc. Numerous studies have confirmed that "good looking" people have better jobs and earn more. Men who are less than 6' tall earn more than shorter men, for example. Employers are often impressed with dubious measures of intelligence like college degrees, grades or standardized test scores.

I was also struck by the obvious incongruity of a world where both physical and mental perfection are prized, yet the demands of the career seem to require neither. How much physical perfection is required to sit at a computer keyboard? The work itself is obviously a white collar clerical job with the computer doing the serious mental work. We know it's clerical work because the filmmaker shows him in a cliché clerical setting: sea of cubicles with employees working like disposable, interchangeable parts in a large machine. A future where the best and brightest have only mindless bookkeeping tasks to challenge them is the real horror in "Gattaca."

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Stands the test of time.

Author: Tehmeh from Finland
19 November 2013

I watched "Gattaca" earlier when it came out, but I was probably too young and/or drunk to appreciate it at the time. So I got the blu-ray and watched it again.

What a quality film this is. Nevermind that the budget wasn't big, everything is handled with care. Cinematography is top notch, the script is coherent and clever at the same time, the music is absolutely beautiful, actors do a fine job, the directing of Niccol keeps everything in check. I can't find significant flaws in this movie.

This is not what people usually expect from SciFi movies today. This is not an action film in space. "Gattaca" is a science fiction movie as much as it is a drama with a little detective story hidden inside. Almost nothing is "in your face", since this movie doesn't make a huge deal out of every meaningful scene. It's not trying to force you to feel or think anything, so the emotional reaction I got was only after the movie had ended. Only then it hit me, and it hit me hard. And the music (I have to compliment the score once again) played inside my head for quite some time.

The above is the main reason I appreciate this film a lot. Many will dislike it for the same reason. If you want something huge, something with immediate impact, something which is trying to impress you, there's a chance you won't love this movie. I too admit that I would've wanted the story to be more gripping and intense, but then again that certain subtlety is one of the strengths of this film. Nevertheless, I recommend "Gattaca" to everyone. When you're in a calm, ponderous or thoughtful state of mind, watch this.

Gattaca asks you important questions without forcing an ambiguous, open ending. Niccol wrote and directed a quality movie and he will be remembered for it. Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Xander Berkeley and Alan Arkin were convincing in their roles, and every actor did a fine job.

"Gattaca" is a thoughtful, humane story and a genuinely well-made film. It already survived the test of time this far, and it will continue to do so. Even if it seems a bit underwhelming, there's a lot of love in it.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

An imperfect man's struggle to succeed in a genetically perfect world.

Author: barry-knox from United States
21 January 2006

This film is a refreshing drama with incredible performances by Ethan Hawke, Jude Law, and Uma Thurman. While this film did not receive much acclaim and hardly anyone has seen it, it is the best couple of hours you will ever spend watching a movie. I could watch the movie again and again - and I do. In this movie a new underclass if "invalids" is created in the not too distant future when genetic engineering becomes the preferred form of procreation. Vincent Freeman stops at nothing to accomplish his dreams. A story of how dedication and perseverance can overcome the impossible. This movie is true testament to the human spirit. Never save anything for the swim back!

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Timeless and poetic exploration of issues of identity.

Author: Alex-Tsander from United Kingdom
4 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie does a number of ingenious and remarkable things : 1. It makes the extraordinary ( space exploration ) seem completely routine in a way not accomplished since 2001 A Space Odyssey. But in total contrast to the latter, instead of achieving this effect through the vivid portrayal of technology with engineering exactitude, it does it by showing almost no technology whatsoever. Rather scenes of the completely anodyne. The "astronauts" wear business suits and work in an office.

2. It creates a sense of timelessness by using almost featureless sets reminiscent of a classical play and paraphernalia re-cycled from other times ( such as the cars and the back-projection displays ). The feel of the film is in a very positive way reminiscent of Alphaville.

3. It employs completely impractical technical devices in such an effective theatrical way as to render their impracticality irrelevant. For example, it is possible to identify someone by a genetic "fingerprint" generated from a hair follicle ( but not in itself a hair ) or skin, but such traces would not facilitate a break-down of the persons genetic character, as pretended here. These are two different orders of measurement. Indeed, urine, which features centrally in the plot, is of no use on either account, not being a body tissue in any case. Only the blood tests would facilitate both identification and genetic analysis as shown in the story. Yet, in spite of knowing these things, the use of such devices as a plucked hair in the story is made so poetically as to become effectively a perfect metaphor and so beyond criticism on grounds of mere realism. To me, this seems almost unique. To do the wrong, obviously, yet aptly.

4. The plot is so contrived as to convene three parallel stories into convergence: Vincents story, of course. But also the directors story, which is oddly similar ( his life's ambition in the flight of the mission can only be fulfilled by killing the man who would have axed it ). As is that of the son of the biologist mentioned at the end.

5. The movie actually achieves what most dramatic art strives for but fails to do: the story resonates far beyond the limited scope of the dramatic enactment. Vincents dream and the challenges posed by society's prejudices is a story that is eternal and universal. As are other issues brought up: sibling rivalry, the "straight" way to a mediocre life as against the "crooked" yet heroic path toward a greater truth. Most profound is the way in which the paralysed Jerome actually becomes an immortal, historical space-farer Vincent, destroying his mortal self to do so, leaving as his legacy the realisations by the other man of his dreams. This is both incredibly ingenious and thought provoking, creating a mood that lingers long after the credits roll. I doubt that vicariousness has ever before been made so realistic a possibility.

The atmosphere, mood and languid tempo yet with a sense of inevitability is greatly aided by Michael Nyman's score.

This is one of the very few movies in which a narrator is entirely apt and not a mere convenience.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

If everyone is perfect, than doesn't perfect simply become average?

Author: Britishboy
31 March 2005

In recent years, sci-fi movies have been primarily popcorn flicks. You would never see a really thoughtful film along the lines of Planet of the Apes, 2001, or even Logan's Run. We were given films about Bruce Willis blowing up an asteroid and movies about an alien fleet trying to blow up the world. Even Star Wars wasn't an intelligent movie. It was pure entertainment, but that was all it tried to be. Too many movies today are popcorn flicks with a moral tacked onto the end of the film. But every once in while, we find a diamond in the rough. Which is the case with Gattaca.

Gattaca takes place in the near future. It presents a future that is completely plausible and seems to be strangely familiar. In this future, genetic manipulation has become quite mainstream, leading many parents to choose the perfect traits for their children. These children have perfect features and no trace of birth defects. They are all intelligent and almost perfect. However, they are not the mindless robots coming off of an assembly line that you may picture. The entire idea is completely realistic and plausible.

However, some parents choose not to undergo this procedure, whether due to religious reasons or the inability to afford it. Regardless, these parents sometimes give birth to children with birth defects and other less-than-desired traits. These children are usually given the world's less-than-desirable jobs.

Such is the case with Vincent, our main character. He was born with a heart condition and was expected to die by age thirty. His parents learned their lesson, and when they had a second child, they made sure that he had superior genes. This leads to an unusual sibling rivalry between Vincent and his brother. As a child, Vincent dreams of working with the space program called Gattaca. He has the brain-power to do it, but his genes are holding him back. DNA checks are mandatory for all new recruits.

He continues into his adult life, getting a job as a janitor at Gattaca, which only increases his hunger for space. However, he soon finds a way out. Jerome Morrow is a former swimmer who becomes paralyzed from the waist down. After his accident, he simply fades off of the map. Through an "identity-dealer," Vincent finds that he can alter his appearance and use Jerome's DNA to get a job at Gattaca. In return he will pay Jerome a portion of his salary. So the two begin a life together. Vincent becomes Jerome and gets a job a Gattaca.

I don't want to ruin the entire story, but there are many interesting twists to keep your interest. The film also moves at an incredible pace, making the 101 minutes fly by. There are action scenes, but these are not Michael Bay action scenes by any means. Of course, that isn't a bad thing.

What I am trying to say is that this is an intelligent film. While anyone can enjoy it for its rich story and good performances, those interested in science will be the most interested. The film offers many references to genetics including Jerome's middle name (Eugene is a reference to eugenics, the branch of genetics involving gene manipulation), Jerome's spiral staircase (a DNA strand), and even the films name (letters used to label the nucleotide bases of DNA).

I must complement the film's cinematography. The films color palette is great, containing a lot of rich greens and blues. The look of the film is also great. It is very minimalist and just futuristic enough to keep things in line.

Performances vary from good to great, but everyone does a pretty good job. Ethan Hawke does a great job playing Vincent, but Jude Law steals the show as Jerome. His wit and humor contrasting some heavy drama makes him an unforgettable character. Also noteworthy is Uma Thurman's performance as Vincents uniformist love interest.

I must truly compliment Andrew Niccol. Had he simply written the script, he would deserve recognition. But his directing is spot on. The film is unique, smart, well-acted, and great to look at. Best of all, this is an intelligent movie. It will make you think about many things. If everyone is perfect, than doesn't perfect simply become average?


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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Under-rated, thought pervoking film

Author: mbanwait from toronto
12 October 2002

It is unfortunate that Gattaca did not do so well at the box office back in 1997. But is has become sort of a cult film as people begin to rediscover it on video and DVD. I think it may have something to do with the recent innovations in genetic engineering and the success of the three main leads.

The first half of the film is quite intense and suspenseful as well as provides a canvas for many ideas on the theme of identity, class society and elitism, fate and destiny and control. Ethan Hawke does a great job as the fraudulent Vincent, and Jude Law is entertaing as the borrowed ladder.

Watch this film when you really feel like thinking after the movie, as the movie has little action.

I think this flick will become a sci fi classic in the years to come and dumb overblown sci fi wannabes such as armageddon and mission to mars will have been forgotten.

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